DIRTY THIRTY IN THE BIG APPLE

I HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT BIRTHDAYS SHOULD BE A BIG CELEBRATION. NOTHING OVER-THE-TOP OR EXTRAVAGANT, BUT  DEFINITELY CELEBRATED IN A WAY THAT MAKES YOU FEEL EXTRA SPECIAL. AS A CHILD, IT MEANT CUPCAKES FOR BREAKFAST AND DINNER AT YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT. AS I HAVE GOTTEN OLDER, I HAVE REALIZED THAT BIRTHDAYS ARE SLOWLY GOING FROM BEING EXCITING TO LOOKED AT AS JUST ANOTHER DAY, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR BIRTHDAY FALLS ON A WORK DAY. BOO! THIS WAS JUST THE CASE FOR MY HUSBAND’S 30TH BIRTHDAY. JUST ANOTHER THURSDAY, RIGHT?

WRONG.

KEEP CELEBRATING. ANOTHER BIRTHDAY MEANS ANOTHER YEAR THAT YOU GET TO ENJOY YOUR LOVED ONES. ANOTHER YEAR TO GO NEW PLACES. ANOTHER YEAR TO ENJOY SUNSHINE ON SATURDAY MORNINGS. (MY FAVORITE THING, BY THE WAY.) IF YOU’RE LUCKY, YOU’LL HAVE MANY MORE BIRTHDAYS WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, SO EMBRACE IT!

30 YEARS YOUNG.

FOR LANE’S BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST, I MADE HIM SPECIAL ’30’ PANCAKES WHICH I HAD TOO MUCH FUN MAKING AT 6 IN THE MORNING.

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AFTER WORK, WE HEADED TO OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT AT LOUISIANA LAGNIAPPE TO MEET SOME FRIENDS FOR DINNER. THEY ALSO MAKE A GREAT OLD FASHIONED. SO DELICIOUS.

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LANE’S BIRTHDAY FELL RIGHT BEFORE EASTER WEEKEND, SO WE WERE ABLE CELEBRATE WITH LOTS OF FAMILY THAT WEEKEND, AS WELL. GOOD TIMES.


FOR HIS BIRTHDAY PRESENT, I SURPRISED HIM WITH A TRIP THE FOLLOWING WEEKEND TO SOMEWHERE HE’S NEVER BEEN BEFORE, NYC. I USED AIRBNB TO GET US THE CUTEST STUDIO IN THE UWS, A BLOCK FROM CENTRAL PARK. WE HAVE SOME FRIENDS AND A COUSIN WHO LIVE THERE SO WE HAD GREAT COMPANY THE ENTIRE TIME. WE LANDED ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND BOY, WAS IT COLD! THURSDAY NIGHT WE HEADED TO DINNER AT BUDDAKAN IN CHELSEA. IT WAS SUCH A COOL ATMOSPHERE AND ONE OF OUR FAVORITE DINNER’S FROM THE TRIP. FUN FACT FOR MY SEX AND THE CITY PEEPS: THIS IS ALSO WHERE CARRIE AND BIG HELD THEIR REHEARSAL DINNER IN THE MOVIE.

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FRIDAY MORNING WAS COLD AND DAMP, WHICH GAVE ME THE OPPOTUNITY TO BREAK IN MY NEW MELISSA RAINBOOTS, SO THAT WAS A PLUS. GLASS HALF FULL. (THANK YOU TO NAOMI OVER AT LOVE TAZA FOR INTRODUCING ME TO THEM)

COLD & DAMP NYC MORNING

OUR MORNING PLAN WAS LIVE! WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL.

CONFESSION: THIS WAS MORE FOR ME THAN LANE. WE DID HAVE PRIORITY TICKETS THOUGH, WHICH ALLOWED US TO SKIP MOST OF THE LINE AND GOT US SEATED IN THE STUDIO FIRST. I JUSTIFIED DRAGGING LANE HERE WITH A FEW THINGS… 1.) MICHAEL COMES FROM FOOTBALL, LANE LOVES FOOTBALL 2.) THE STUDIO WAS ONLY A FEW BLOCKS FROM OUR APARTMENT SO WE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAKE UP QUITE AS EARLY 3.) NICKOLAJ COSTER AKA JAMIE LANNISTER WAS THE GUEST AND WE LOVE US SOME GAME OF THRONES. IN THE END WE BOTH HAD FUN AND NOW LANE CAN NOW SAY HE’S BEEN APART OF A LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE.

MICHAEL EVEN TOLD HIM HAPPY BIRTHDAY! #WINNING

LIVE! WITH KELLY AND MICHAELSELFIE AT THE SHOW

THE REST OF FRIDAY CONSISTED OF CENTRAL PARK EXPLORING FOLLOWED BY WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE SOME FAT, JUICY BURGERS AND MILKSHAKES AT BURGER JOINT. TOO BAD THE LINE WAS SO LONG. I SWEAR THE LAST TIME I WENT IT WAS STILL SOMEWHAT OF A SECRET. IT’S BEEN A FEW YEARS, WHO KNOWS, BUT AFTER ABOUT 20 MINUTES OF WAITING WE DECIDED TO SKIP OUT ON THE LINE AND HEAD TO A THAI RESTAURANT THAT WE HAD PASSED ALONG THE WAY. TOPAZ THAI WAS A TINY LITTLE PLACE WITH BIG TASTE. WE LOVED IT AND SOON FORGOT ALL ABOUT THE BURGERS. PURE SERENDIPITY.

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CENTRAL PARK LOVING

LEX IN CENTRAL PARK LANE IN CENTRAL PARK CENTRAL PARK

FRIDAY EVENING WE HEADED TO THE EAST VILLAGE FOR CUBAN FOOD AT CIENFUEGOS. LANE IS HALF CUBAN AND MY SWEET, BEST FRIEND, YASMINA, THOUGHT OF THIS PLACE IN HONOR OF THAT. WE WERE SEATED IN THE COZY, CORNER BOOTH RIGHT BY THE BAR. THIS WAS PERFECT FOR OUR SERVER SINCE, BETWEEN THE SIX OF US, WE CONSUMED QUITE A BIT OF THEIR FAMOUS RUM BOWLS. AFTER DINNER, WE FOUND A PUB NEAR NYU TO KEEP THE CELEBRATORY DRINKS FLOWING. I AM NOT SURE WHEN I BECAME AN OLD LADY, BUT DRINKING IN THIS COLLEGE BAR SURE MADE ME FEEL LIKE ONE. I GUESS GETTING SLOPPY AND SPILLING MY BEER ALL OVER THE PLACE JUST ISN’T MY THING ANYMORE. MY PARENTS WILL BE SO PROUD.

WITH SATURDAY CAME THE BIG, BEAUTIFUL SUN. FINALLY! OH HOW I LOVE ME SOME VITAMIN D. NATURALLY, I NEEDED A ROOFTOP AND A FRENCH 75, SO AFTER A FLAVORFUL BRUNCH AT MAISON KAYSER, WE WENT UP TO 230 FIFTH ROOFTOP BAR. AFTER A COUPLE HOURS, YASMINA AND I DITCHED THE GUYS AND WENT TO CHECK OUT THE RENT THE RUNWAY SAMPLE SALE, BEING THAT IT WAS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

THIS WAS INTERESTING… I COMPARE IT TO MY OLD SHOPPING DAYS AT FOREVER 21- YOU HAVE TO BE IN THE MOOD OR THE PEOPLE AND THE CLOTHES WILL JUST PISS YOU OFF.

THE IDEA OF THIS SALE WAS GREAT AND IM SURE PLENTY OF LADIES WALKED OUT WITH LOADS OF GREAT DEALS, BUT FROM WHAT I SAW, THE DRESSES WERE REALLY WORN DOWN SINCE THEY’VE ALREADY BEEN RENTED A BUNCH AND JUST NOT WORTH IT. THIS WAS ALSO MY FIRST COMMUNAL FITTING ROOM EXPERIENCE. WHAT A HOT MESS. ONLY TWO BIG MIRRORS AND LIKE 30 WOMEN THROWING CLOTHES AROUND. NO THANKS.

230 FIFTH ROOFTOP

WE MET UP WITH THE GUYS AT THE HIGH LINE TO DO SOME MORE SITE-SEEING. ANOTHER ITEM I HAD ON THE LIST OF MUST SEES FOR LANE’S FIRST EXPERIENCE. UNFORTUNATELY, IT WAS SUPER PACKED AND WE WERE BASICALLY HAVING TO WALK IN A SINGLE-FILE LINE. NOT THE ARM-IN-ARM STROLLING I HAD ENVISIONED. EVERYONE WAS COMING OUT OF HIBERNATION WITH ONE OF THE FIRST, SPRING WEEKENDS OF THE SEASON.

THE HIGH LINE VIEW FROM THE HIGH LINE

SATURDAY NIGHT, MY COUSIN EVAN HAD US OVER FOR DRINKS AT HIS PLACE BEFORE DINNER. WE OOHED AND AHHED OVER THE FACT THAT THE ELEVATOR OPENED UP TO HIS APARTMENT. (IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE, RIGHT?!) AS THE GRACIOUS HOST THAT HE HIS, HE EVEN WENT GROCERY SHOPPING AND HAD A CHARCUTERIE AND CHEESE PLATE FOR US. WE HAD SO MUCH FUN CATCHING UP WITH EVAN/TRYING TO FACETIME ALL OUR FAMILY (TO NO AVAIL) THAT BY THE TIME WE GOT TO EATALY FOR DINNER, THEY WERE CLOSED. WHOOPSIE! PLAN B WAS DINNER AT L’EXPRESS, A 24-HR FRENCH RESTAURANT. HOW COOL, RIGHT? IN LOUISIANA, OUR ONLY OPTION FOR 24 HOUR DINING IS THE WAFFLE HOUSE! AFTER DINNER, WE WENT TO COMEDY CELLAR FOR OUR 12:45AM SHOW. EVEN THOUGH LOUIS CK DIDN’T POP-IN AND SURPRISE US, IT WAS STILL A FANTASTIC TIME. WHO DOESN’T LOVE LAUGHING?

PARK AVE

SUNDAY MORNING BROUGHT ANOTHER GORGEOUS DAY. WE MET AT WATERFRONT BICYCLE SHOP IN THE WEST VILLAGE RIGHT ON THE HUDSON RIVER. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PLACE FOR BIKE RENTALS. THEY FIT YOU TO A BIKE, GIVE YOU WHATEVER ACCESSORIES NEEDED (I REQUESTED A BASKET ON THE FRONT OF MINE) AND THEN YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY.

BIKES ALONG THE HUDSON

FOLLOWING THE HUDSON RIVER WE WENT SOUTH AND WRAPPED AROUND THE ISLAND TO THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE.

BIKE FRIENDS IN FRONT OF LADY LIBERTY

WE MADE OUR WAY OVER THE BRIDGE, HAD A PICNIC AT THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK, (THANK YOU YASMINA FOR THE PERFECT BAGEL SANDWICHES- HIT THE SPOT AND THEN SOME) THEN HEADED BACK OVER ON THE MANHATTAN BRIDGE. WALKING THE BRIDGES IS COOL, I’M SURE, BUT TREKKING UP THE BRIDGE IS SO WORTH THE EXCITEMENT OF COASTING DOWNHILL AT HIGH SPEEDS WHILE RINGING YOUR BIKE BELL AT THE OBLIVIOUS PEDESTRIANS, WANDERING INTO YOUR BIKE LANE. SERIOUSLY, SUCH A THRILL!

VIEW 2 ON TOP OF BROOKLYN BRIDGEVIEW ON TOP OF BROOKLYN BRIDGE
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BROOKLYN BRIDGE

BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

WE RODE THROUGH WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK ON OUR WAY BACK TO THE BIKE SHOP, WHICH WAS PACKED WITH THRONGS OF PEOPLE ENJOYING ANOTHER PERFECT DAY. 13 MILES AND 5 1/2 HOURS LATER WE RETURNED OUR BIKES AND HEADED BACK TO THE APARTMENT.

AS IF WE DIDN’T DO ENOUGH ON SUNDAY, WE HAD ABOUT 45 MINUTES TO FRESHEN UP AND HEAD TO THE BRONX FOR THE YANKEES/REDSOX GAME. WE DINED ON HOTDOGS AND BEER (WHEN IN ROME…) AND HAD AN INCREDIBLE TIME. THIS WAS SUCH A COOL EXPERIENCE AND EVEN THOUGH WE WERE TIRED FROM THE DAY, I AM SO GLAD THAT WE FIT THIS INTO OUR TRIP.

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YANKEE STADIUM

CELEBRATING IN THE CITY WAS A SUCCESS.

HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY, MY LOVE!

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